It’s pretty common to spot people standing next to shacks and stalls, munching down on their food items.
Some eat while standing up because they are in a hurry, or there is no seat available. You must have done this at some point in time too. But according to a recent study, it stresses you and mutes taste buds.
Eating while standing is bad
To begin with, eating while standing mutes your taste buds. As a result, the food doesn’t taste good. In addition to that, it also increases stress in your body.
A study which was published in Journal of Consumer Research found that when you eat while standing up, it prompts physical stress. The physical posture that you have also has a major effect on your taste perception.
In simple words, food tastes better when you consume it sitting down.
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How was the study conducted?
The study focused on understanding how the vestibular sense works. As you know, this sense is responsible for your posture, balance, and spatial orientation. Additionally, it also works with the gustatory sensory system, which in turn has an effect on the flavor and taste of the food you eat.
The research team gathered 350 people who were to rate the testiness of pita chips. It was found that those who were standing didn’t rate the taste to be very favorable while those who sat, voted for the tastiness of pita chips.
Going further deep into the research, they added a shopping bag and asked people to taste a fruit snack while holding the bag. Now, both groups claimed that the food tasted much worse with additional baggage.
Findings of the study
The lead author of the study was Dipayan Biswas, who is a Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.
He explained, “This finding suggests that parents might be able to make unpleasant-tasting, healthy foods seem more palatable to reluctant children by having them eat standing up (vs. sitting down). In a similar vein, it might be beneficial to maintain a standing posture when consuming pharmaceutical products that have unpleasant tastes.”
Why does this happen?
It all comes down to how gravity works. Eating while standing adds stress to your body because it has to work extra in order to pump blood from the heart all the way back to the top of body. This accelerates your heart rate causing stress.
It also activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which results in increased concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol. This is the main thing that impacts the taste and temperature of food. Most likely, you eat less while standing up because it doesn’t taste good.